When you share a photo on your News Feed or Instagram, you probably don't realize just how much that photo says about you. But, according to new research, the type of pictures you're posting and the filters you use can actually provide insight into the state of your mental health.
Researchers from Harvard University used machine learning to evaluate images from around 166 Instagram accounts. Collectively, more than 43,000 photos were reviewed to see what insights could be gathered.
When the study was complete, one general trend seemed to stand out: blue. Images and filters that carried a blue or gray tone seemed to indicate signs of depression in the user.
Of course, color wasn't the only thing that was evaluated in the research. This data was also combined with data collected from a facial recognition algorithm. The objective was to see if machine learning could accurately identify depression.
The tests were more successful than expected. The algorithm was able to identify participants who suffered from depression at a higher rate than most practitioners.
As further research is conducted, it's hoped that this technology could one day help those with depression get the help they need. But what do you think? Would this be an invasive practice? Let us know in the comments.
This story also touches on concerns that are coming about due to our growing addiction to the internet. Are you addicted, yourself? Take this quiz to find out.